Marketing on YouTube: A How to Guide
By now, we’ve all probably come to terms with the fact that marketing on YouTube is every bit as important as having a strategy to increase visibility on Google. After all, YouTube performs the second highest number of searches every day (a billion is TYPICAL) and it receives about 65 million unique visitors each month. It’s a big, thriving platform where any old goof can become an instant celebrity overnight. More importantly than that, it’s a wide open market space where serious and practical marketers like you can get your messages across without having to give away an arm and a leg in promotional resources.
That explains why I still have a full set of limbs.
YouTube marketing is a low-competition, high-customer engagement practice that can take your business to the big league. A lot of people don’t realize it, but you and I both know that video gets more money than anything else on the Interwebs, period. It’s unrivaled in terms of its ability to establish relationships with your prospects and it’s been proven time and again that people are more likely to buy from people and companies whom they feel they have a connection with.
That kind of high-level marketing opportunity exists in YouTube every day but ONLY for smart folks who want to give it a go. I’ve looked around on Google to try and see if there’s a how-to guide on YouTube marketing out there that can help you out, but I didn’t find a single one with honest to goodness advice that’ll help you build skills that pay the bills. Today, I decided to roll up my sleeves and give it a go myself.
If you ever wanted to create a YouTube presence that generates thousands, maybe millions of views for every video you upload, this guide is for you. It’s staggeringly easy, shamelessly low-cost and best of all, it gets you TRAFFIC and ENGAGEMENT.
Here are the steps:
- Create an Optimized Account and Channel – In YouTube marketing, having a name that people can relate to can spell the difference between easily forming connections and being chronically shunned into obscurity. A big part of creating a good YouTube business identity is making friends with people in your niche. The key here is to have a username that comes with a keyword that’s reflective of what you do as a business and the interests of your niche.
Let’s say your name is Mark and you’re a car accessory retailer and you want to publish videos on YouTube that will help promote your business. I wouldn’t advise you to name your account MarkieBaby557 or something of that sort. Getting a friend request from a stranger with that name is not only creepy, it’s something that people will likely not appreciate.
To help prevent the creepmeter from going off the charts, attach a keyword that’ll connect with your prospect. Mark_TheGearhead, Mark_CarAccessories, CarAccessory_Connoisseur and other similar handles are all viable options if you’re targeting people who are looking for videos related to automotive topics, especially those about car accessories.
Having an optimized username means that your YouTube channel will carry that same name. The keyword that you’ve added will carry over to the page’s name, its title tag and its URL slug. This makes your videos more relevant and easier to find in internal search and by other search engines.
- Populate Your Channel With Related Videos – You’ll want to establish yourself as a part of the niche, not someone who just wants to come in and sell things. Posting other people’s videos on your channel is easy. Just add a video to favorites, subscribe to one or post a link to it in the “Post to Feed” field on your channel. This sends the signal to people in your niche that you’re not a bot. You’re a human with a strong interest in a certain field and you’re probably knowledgeable about it.
This helps existing friends and subscribers find videos that they like more easily. By doing this, you’re accomplishing two things: first, you’re showing people that the videos you have in your channel are closely related to their interests and second, you’re building up a content library even BEFORE you’ve uploaded your first video. By the time you’re ready to show your own stuff, people will know that they have to see it because you’ve already proven that your stuff is nice and interesting.
- Make Friends With People in Your Niche – Having an optimized and search-friendly username and channel is a great asset, but you don’t want to rely on search alone to get people to watch your videos. It’s always better if you’ve got a means to let people know that you’re promoting a video and you want to share it with them.
The solution? Make friends with people who are interested in what you’ve got and other relevant topics. People who give Likes and post neutral to positive comments are your primary targets. This is where your optimized name helps you out. It also helps if you’re an active commenter yourself: people tend to get more familiar with you and you can showcase your knowledge of the subject matter they’re interested in. Most people won’t hesitate to add someone who posts sensible comments as a friend in their lists.
Making friends with someone brings you closer to making the person a subscriber to your videos and channels. Making someone a subscriber means that they’ll receive updates whenever you post new content over at YouTube. If you have something like 1,000 subscribers, it’s likely that around 50 of them will be online at any given time. That means when you launch a video even at random, you can be sure that you’ll get at least 50 views in a hurry. It also means that since these people are your YouTube friends, they’ll likely give you likes, comments and good ratings. Those three are all algorithm signals for YouTube to rank you higher in its internal search results. It also gives you a better shot at getting your video featured in Google’s natural search results.
Think of subscribers as your high-engagement mailing list within YouTube. The more you have, the better.
Speaking of getting more friends and subscribers, you may want to check out the YouTube Toolbox site. They’ve got a killer app there that can automate friend and subscriber list building in a way that won’t get your account banned. There’s a monthly subscription fee involved, but the results you’ll get are usually EPIC. They’ve got a free trial version of the software, so go get your hands on it.
- Upload Your Video – When you feel that your account is sufficiently immersed and connected with the community in your niche, you can start uploading your own videos. Before you do that, keep these optimization tips in mind:
- The video’s file name must be descriptive and must include the main keyword
- The title should also contain the main keyword phrase
- The description should also contain your primary keyword. Be creative and include auxiliary keywords in this field. More importantly, though, the description has to make sense and it has to tell people what the video is all about.
- Get some traffic going to your own website by including your website’s URL or a landing page URL in the description accompanied by a simple call to action. Something like “For more online marketing tips, visit http://www.AndyJenkinsBlog.com” should do just fine.
- Look for popular videos that rank well and get a lot of views for the keyword you’re targeting. Check out their tags, descriptions and categories. Stay as close to those as you can, but be honest with your video’s description and its content. Doing this will allow you to rank closely with the popular video on search and it tells YouTube to display your video in the “related videos” section for the popular video. Needless to say, you’ll get a large amount of relevant click-through traffic for this.
Post your video as a video response to relevant popular videos – This increases your click-through views and gets you in a better position to get your video to show up among the related videos and search results alongside the top performers.
- Promote the Video Inside and Outside YouTube – Once the video is live, post a message on your YouTube RSS to invite people to vide, comment, like and rate it. This creates the initial turf that you need for YouTube to realize that your video is hot and it should be showcased. If the activity for your video shows a natural spike, you can even land on the front page, making it all but certain for you to get tens of thousands of views. Even if you don’t hit that homerun, you’ll still get a nice boost and a lot of pass-on viewership (which gives your video a shot at going viral).
You can supplement the YouTube activity with general Internet marketing savvy. Promote your video over at Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Post links to it in social bookmarking sites. If you have a good mailing list, send out an email to your subscribers and ask them to check your video out. Just make sure that the content of your video is worth their time and provides commensurate value for their attention.
- Embed the Video in Your Blog – Don’t confine your video within the walls of YouTube. If you’ve got a blog, write a post about it and embed it. This gets you some extra views, comments and subscribers from people who read your content but don’t necessarily know much about what you’re doing on YouTube. It gives people the impression that you’ve got a lot more than writing in your game and having a video is the way to do it.
An added benefit of embedding your video is the fact that YouTube and Google consider embeds as “votes” in their search algorithms. The more embeds your vide gets, the better it performs in YouTube’s internal searches. The bigger prize is having a better chance to get your video to show up in the first page of Google’s universal results. If your video gets that treatment – and it’s not hard to get – you’ll be introduced to even more targeted and motivated people who are interested in just what you have to offer.
And that, cuzins, is how you do some serious marketing on YouTube. This is a method that my colleagues and I have used for years and it has NEVER failed us. If you want Big Boss-level view numbers on your videos, this is the way to do it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be working on some new vids to keep YOU happy and engaged. Ciao.
Andy “YouTube-Marketing-Like-Nobody’s-Business” Jenkins